What does the name "diaval" mean? Is that an invented name? I have searched it over the internet but it has never appeared in SSA's name database.

Diaval was a character in Disney's Maleficent. He was an update of the raven, Diablo, that appeared in the animated movie Sleeping Beauty. In Maleficent, Diaval pledged to be Maleficent's servant after she saved his life. Maleficent transformed Diaval into various creatures, including a human, wolf, horse and dragon, but she used him mostly to be her wings, since she no longer had hers.

3 Answers 3


From Wikipedia's Maleficent page:

Sam Riley [portrays] Diaval, a raven who changes into human form and is Maleficent's right hand

From Wikipedia's List of Sleeping Beauty Characters:

Diablo is Maleficent's pet raven. The source of his name is not clear as he is never named in the film. [...]

Portrayed by Sam Riley in the live-action film Maleficent, Diaval is introduced as a raven whom Maleficent saved to be her servant and confidant.

The name Diaval likely comes from Diablo, which was the Raven's name in Sleeping Beauty. Diablo is Spanish for devil. In Spanish the letters b and v make similar sounds, so that sort of makes Diaval become Diabal, which is is nearly identical to Diablo.

The Raven was originally named Diablo which is a not-very-subtle way of saying he's evil (since his name means devil). Since the film Maleficent portrays the characters as being the heroes, not the villains, it makes sense that the filmmakers would change Diablo's name a bit so that audiences wouldn't think he was evil.

  • TL;DR: It doesn't mean anything. The filmmakers just wanted something that a) sounded like the original name and b) could plausibly be someone's name.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 4:52
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    I haven't seen Maleficent, but ‘Diaval’ is even closer to the Irish version of the devil's name: diabhal. Bh is a digraph in Irish that represents a lenited /b/ or /bʲ/, pronounced [w] and [v], respectively; in diabhal, it's really a /b/, so it's mostly pronounced [w], but in some dialects it's [v]. So diaval would be kind of a semi-pseudo-phonetic spelling of diabhal in some dialects. If that sounds a bit far-fetched for you, you could also base it on Italian diavolo, which has the v and the extra vowel—chop off the final syllable, and it's just diavol -> diaval. Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 5:47

Yes, Diaval is an English spelling of the Irish word diabhal, meaning devil. It's not surprising the raven's name was changed because in Maleficent the raven has an Irish accent (English actor, by the way).

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    I would suggest a little rewriting, so that this becomes a proper answer to the question (What does "Diaval" mean?) rather than a comment to an existing answer.
    – lfurini
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 7:10

The name Diaval might be rooted from the way foreigners and/or colonizers spoke words of other languages like many other words. Like how the translation for "devil" to spanish is "diablo" which the filipinos adapted to "dyablo". Its meaning might not be all that well but who are we to judge a character because of his/her/its name when we ourselves don't get to choose ours?

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    Do you have an Idea of what it may mean? Or are you simply informing us of it's possible etymology?
    – Edlothiad
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 16:22

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